Skip navigation
Previous page Rotate Left Rotate Right Next page Original Image Large Image Zoom View text PDF
Jump to page
A TANK was waddling slowly across No Man's Land,
when it suddenly paused on the lip of a shell-hole,
and swerved to the right. The stretcher-bearer
returned to his charge shuddering, and then re-commenced
the long trek to the dressing-station, half a mile away.
Rhys Hughes was no coward, nay, he was the friend of
every man in the Ambulance, but this morning he was
"distrait." Thoughts of home, and the work of his life
kept recurring, and his quiet faith was reeling under a
hundred heavy blows. He wondered whether the Sas-
siwn or the Set Fawr would ever understand what
he and his chums had been through, wondered too whether
they would ever make allowances.
Whiz — Bang They were in the mud again,
and then with a groan, and a stifled Thank you his
charge died in his arms.
Oh d- this war What was that ? Another
cry, and Rhys had found another patient.
Curious how he kept thinking of the Corph," and the
work in Wales; strange, too, that he began to see clearly
where all before was a blaze and a blur.
He had been very uncertain about some things, but, all
through, his soul was fixed on the Lord of Service, and
Rhys knew something of risk and sacrifice. He wasn't
sure what his theology was, but his experience was very
definite-" Who loved me, and who gave Himself for
me Greater love hath no man than this, that a man
lay down his life for his friends." At any rate, he believed
that, and he'd done it, as far as he was concerned, a hun-
dred times.
The great day had come Rhys was to be ordained
There was something queer in his demeanour, a hint
of a big battle fought and won, a suggestion of recent
Gethsemanes. But he was happy. He had dreamed of this
for years, and at last his dream was coming true.
Suddenly his name was called, and he stood on his feet.
(Ploegsteert, 1915.)
I look across the Channel in the haze,
And muse upon the lanes of Somerset,
The hedges there and here are very wet,
And wet leaves fall upon the muddy bays
So, seeing them, I think of winter days
In woods and months I never shall forget-
I feel the crash of eighteen-pounders yet,
And see the Crosses by the slippery ways.
Strangely I pine for these remembered things,
The spade and shell-turned earth, the acrid smoke
Of wet wood burning, and the troubled skies,
The smell of bacon that the morning brings,
The splintered branches of the shell-struck oak,
The life of toil, of danger, of surprise.
Clumber House, Newnham-on-Severn, Glos.
By Emmaus."
Oh yes They were questioning him. Did anybody
shout Stretcher-bearers at the double ? No No
Everything was awfully confused. Then he saw and
heard again, but his nerves were jagged edges.
"What is your opinion-?"
Something in the tone hurt Rhys. It was hard, in-
quisatorial, and he felt at a loss again that cry, Stretcher-
bearers at the double."
What is your opinion concerning the Pauline doctrine
of Atonement?
Steady Rhys tried hard to pull himself together.
He wasn't sure that he quite understood it, for the author-
ities to which he had been directed were often at logger
heads. Oh, well. There was only one thing to do, and
that was to say so, he was in the house of friends. There
followed a question arising out of," and Rhys and his
inquisitor were seas apart. It was all very unfortunate,
and they both developed an amazing knack of misunder-
standing each other.
Then the roof fell in on top of him. Someone else
had intervened. Another asked a question. A third
followed with a harangue, a hopeless, hard slamming of
the door. His very worth as a man, something that cut
deeper than the curse on his brain, was in question.
There was no one to help, no one to offer a way out,
or to ease the situation.
Again that cry Stretcher-bearers at the double." It
grew louder, more incessant, but Rhys was hit, and by his
own artillery, too.
He went out, and it was night, but in the comforting
darkness he met again the Comrade in White Who
dwells not in the light alone."
And God said Let there be light.' But the am-
bassadors, and the Consul-Generals, and the diplomatic
service in Set Fawr and pulpit said, Not unless you
use our globes." It was the defeat of God.
The characters and situations are purely fictitious.
Rol treulio amser yn y ddrycin ddu,
Ac aml ochneidio dan y greulon gwys,
Heb weled ond y storm, a theimlo pwys
Rhyw feichiau newydd a'u gofalon lu,
Yn sydyn daeth y bythgofiadwy ddydd,
Distawodd swn y storm a'i phoenus wae,
Yn lie twrf magnel heddyw i'w glywed mae
Dihafal gor yr adar yn y ffridd
Ac er y diwrnod hwnnw newid ddaeth
Ar wyneb popeth i fy meddwl i,
Mae Natur fel yn newydd oll i mi,
A rhyw gyfrinach arall yn ei gwaith.
Ac i goroni'r cwbl gwelais Hi,
A gwen yr haul ar ei dihalog rudd.
J. D, P.
Previous page Rotate Left Rotate Right Next page Original Image Large Image Zoom View text PDF
Jump to page

This text was generated automatically from the scanned page and has not been checked. Typical character accuracy is in excess of 99%, but this leaves one error per 100 characters.